Thanksgiving is this Thursday and winter has arrived. Don’t get stuck in nasty weather unprepared, keeping up with routine car maintenance is always important but even more so during the winter months. All of us at A.T.C. Agency want you and your family to arrive at your destination and get back home safely without any hiccups. The roads are busy during the holiday season and winter weather exacerbates traffic. Avoid an auto accident this winter with our safety tips.
Check your tires: Please make sure your tires are in tiptop shape; check tire pressure monthly, topping off as necessary. Cold weather can lower tire pressure. Inspect your tires for tread depth, an important factor in wet and snow tractions. The tread should be at least 1/8 of an inch, it can be gauged using a quarter and measuring from the coin’s edge to Washington’s head.
Accelerate slowly to reduce wheel spin: If starting from a standstill on slick snow or ice, start in second gear if you have a manual transmission so the vehicle is less likely to spin the tires.
Reduce your speed and drive smoothly: Tires lose their grip in slippery conditions, which affects all aspects of your driving: braking, turning, and accelerating. Slower speeds allow you more time to react to which can prevent an auto accident.
Create space: The larger the distance between you and the car in front of you allows you the space to maintain control. Plan on starting to brake sooner than you normally would in dry conditions. Use more gentle pressure on the brake pedal.
Avoid sudden actions when cornering: A sudden hard brake, a quick turn of the steering wheel, or sudden acceleration can upset a vehicle’s dynamics when it’s taking a turn. Rapidly transferring the weight from one end or corner to another can throw a car off balance. On slippery roads these kinds of maneuvers can cause your vehicle to go out of control.
Don’t let 4WD or AWD give you a false sense of security: 4WD and AWD systems only provide extra traction when accelerating, they do not provide extra protection when braking or cornering.
Give yourself extra time: Leave a half an hour earlier than you normally would, rushing around feeling pressed for time can add additional stress when the roads are stressful enough. Give yourself the extra half an hour so you can arrive at your destination safely.
Be ready to correct for a slide: If your rear end of your vehicle begins to slide during a turn gently let off on the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. This will help straighten it out. Electronic stability control will also help keep control in a slide situation.